Police push for sex pest’s shop closure

Siraj Patel

Siraj Patel

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Police are looking to close down a takeaway in Lancaster after the business owner was jailed for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in his delivery van.

In a rare move, police want to revoke the late licence for Mognies takeaway in Lancaster, owned by Siraj Patel, in order to protect children and the public.

Mognies, Lancaster

Mognies, Lancaster

This would mean the business would not be able to operate without this licence. Last July after a police and immigration raid, there were found to be three illegal immigrants working and living at Mognies all employed by Patel.

PC Andy Taylor, licensing officer based at Lancaster police station, said: “We have enough evidence for a full revocation of the licence which is very rare. “If you want to sell hot food between 11pm and 5am you have to obtain a late refreshment licence.

“To get these late licences you have to observe the licensing objectives which are prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

“A full revocation is very rare because you are taking their business and livelihood off them but we are quite justified to protect any other children from harm.

“As a licensing authority we are looking to clamp down on any offences against children and we are here to protect children. We are sending out the message that we are dealing with these offenders.”

Police said Siraj Patel was on duty in his delivery van at the time he sexually abused a girl under 16. It is necessary to ask for the licence to be removed to prevent this happening again in the future.

Siraj Patel, 49, of Dallas Road, Lancaster, was found guilty of four counts of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one count of sexual grooming after a trial at Preston Crown Court last November. In December 2016, he was sentenced to four years in jail for these offences, which were committed against a 15-year-old girl.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order, is on the sex offenders register indefinitely and had to pay a victim surcharge of £120. Police and immigration officials raided Mognies takeaway last July and found three illegal immigrants from India all living above Mognies in one room.

All three were arrested. A Home Office spokesman said: “The three Indian men arrested in the raid are all having to report to the Home Office whilst their cases are dealt with.”

A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “An application for a review of the premise licence has been submitted by the police.

“We are now in the statutory consultation period following which it will be heard before the Licensing Act Sub Committee who will determine the application.

A copy of the application for review is available on our website at https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/business/licences-and-permissions/licensing-applications-received
The next meeting of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee will be held on February 9.